The St Pancras Hotel in London is about to be re-opened after a major £150 million transformation.
A landmark to us Londoners, this Victorian Gothic monolith has been empty for the past 23 years, after several decades as the offices of British Rail, and it will be good to see it come to life again.
It began its life as the Midland Grand 138 years ago and originally had 300 bedrooms and eight bathrooms. Thankfully this has now been turned into 245 en-suite rooms. There are 38 Victorian Suites in the original building, many overlooking the station concourse, and the remaining 207 rooms are in a sympathetic red-brick extension.
The older rooms have souring high ceilings and original chimney pieces.
G A Design International oversaw the work and were advised by English Heritage on the colour palette. Restorers and craftsmen were used to restore the vaulted ceilings, gold leaf plasterwork and the murals.
I’m not a great lover of Victorian architecture but I can’t help but be impressed by these dramatic public spaces.
And I wouldn’t say no to a drink in the ‘Booking Office Bar’. Anyone?